Decrying the most recent sweeps in which the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ensnared 150 people across the Southland, Bishop John Harvey Taylor of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, in a statement released today, calls for an end to America’s “greatest civic sin.” Full text of the bishop’s statement follows:
“There is nothing wrong with law enforcement aimed at detaining those who pose a real risk to our neighborhoods and communities.
“But the policies of the current administration are designed to inflame resentment of immigrants and asylum seekers and win votes by cruelly scapegoating our siblings in Christ.
“We value the receptiveness of local ICE officials when we and other faith leaders inquire about specific cases.
“But in the name of Christ and the baptismal covenant, which calls us to respect the dignity of every human being, I implore our government to stop dividing families and to close the detention centers, welcome the DACA kids, and decriminalize our broken immigration and asylum systems.
“Our failure year after year, decade after decade to enact humane, common-sense immigration reform, favored by most Americans and demanded by the heart of Christ, is our greatest civic sin.“
Bishop Taylor is joined by the diocesan Sacred Resistance Task Force in recommending two actions:
1. Widely share “Know Your Rights” information made available by the L.A. Raids Rapid Response Network, which “invites families and loved ones of those detained by ICE at home or work to reach out for support, including potential consultation with an immigration attorney, at CHIRLA’s hotline, (888) 624-4752. “ A Know Your Rights document is here.
2. Contact the diocesan Sanctuary Task Force for more information about Know Your Rights or how to get involved. Visit www.lasacredresistance.org/about.html